grammargirl: (Default)
Dear My So-Called Life,

How do you retain the power to make me cry like a little girl almost a decade and a half after the fact? Way to make me feel like the girliest girl who ever girled. Also: thank GOD I will never have to be in high school ever again.

Tearfully yours,

Melanie
grammargirl: (annoyed kitty)
So, I just got to work around noon.

There was an epic thunderstorm last night. We're talking thunder loud enough to wake me up from a sound sleep multiple times, super bright super close lightening, and atmospheric pressure that made my cat go completely apeshit. I woke up this morning, noted with relief that the rain had stopped, got dressed, and walked to Atlantic Terminal to catch the train... whereupon I noticed about 75 people standing outside talking on cell phones. Uh oh. Turned out that there were no trains running into Manhattan. Okay, fine, the easy access to every train known to mankind is one reason why I moved to this neighborhood. So I called Haley to let her know that the trains were messed up and walked to Hoyt Schemerhorn to see if the A was running. No love. During one of my update phone calls to Haley I somewhat jokingly commented that I was considering walking across the bridge and walking uptown from there. She thought it was a smashing idea, so, with no real forethought, I walked the 15-20 minutes to her apartment in Brooklyn Heights, and the two of us commenced walking into Manhattan.

The Brooklyn Bridge was packed with pedestrians and cyclists, as I imagine it was during the blackout a few years ago or the transit strike in '05. The whole thing felt like some kind of crazy adventure, and it was weirdly heartening to see how many people, when faced with a complete train shutdown, simply shrugged, changed into comfy shoes, and walked. After a brief stop at a Duane Reade for water, Haley and I commenced our hike uptown. Everything was going pretty well until somewhere around 14th street, at which point my feet started hurting in earnest, and the last 40-odd blocks were pretty difficult. Did I mention that the humidity is approximately nine hundred percent, and also I'm wearing sandals? Yeah.

Googlemaps is sort of a dubious resource for this sort of thing, since it provides routes for driving rather than walking, but it looks like all told, from my door to my office building, I walked about 5.7 miles:



...and with that, I drag my sore ass to lunch.

ETA: Haley says that according to Google Pedometer, we walked 6.08 miles and burned 551 calories. How about that.
ETA2: I just entered my own route into Google Pedometer (which is really a cool hack, btw), including the walk between my apartment and Haley's, and got 6.67 miles and 605.5 calories. Hot damn, no wonder I just consumed half my weight in pizza.
grammargirl: (Default)
I am currently writing to you, my lovely f-list, FROM MY BED. This is wildly exciting, given my less-than-awesome past with establishing Internet access immediately post-move. Shockingly, however, the guy from Time Warner showed up precisely in the middle of the 4-hour appointment range and set up my Internet access with a minimum of fuss. Did I mention it's cable Internet, for roughly half what Haley and I paid for DSL? Damn straight.

While stuck in the apartment waiting for the Time Warner guy, I unpacked like an unpacking fiend. Aside from two horribly disorganized office-related boxes, my yarn stash, and my books, all of which are pending an Ikea trip in a couple weeks, I am DONE DONE DONE, and it looks fucking awesome, and you should all come over and see it as soon as possible. Just, you know, not all at the same time, because there's no way you'd all fit.
grammargirl: (Default)
Just so y'all know:

At long last, the movers are coming at 8:30 tomorrow morning. This is awesome and exciting and I will be SO GLAD when this stupid process is over. My Internet access, however, is going to be spotty to nonexistent for a while. I'll be home tomorrow through the weekend, so I won't have access at work. A guy from Time Warner is coming on Friday morning/afternoon, but I have come to expect nothing but duplicity and lameness from my Internet providers, so who knows if I'll actually have Internet access by the time the guy leaves, or if he'll come at all. Anyway, unless I manage to pirate a signal from one of my new neighbors, which isn't entirely out of the realm of possibility, I will at the very least be sans Internet through tomorrow and Thursday, and possibly right up until I get to work on Monday. So pick up the phone if you want to get in touch with me, is what I'm saying.

Meanwhile, anyone and everyone who feels like stopping by my new place over the next several days to keep me company while I unpack and also maybe help me carry stuff home from Target, please do let me know. I have several days to look forward to of no company but my cat and a bunch of boxes. Also, I'm about to live in literally the most accessible-by-subway neighborhood in Brooklyn (seriously, I think I'm within walking distance of every train that comes into Brooklyn except the L and the JMZ), so there's really no excuse not to visit.

T-2 days

Jul. 30th, 2007 11:01 am
grammargirl: (Yummy brains)
Tra la, tra la. This weekend was spent packing and cleaning, cleaning and packing, and then, just for a change of scene, I got hit out of nowhere with a migraine the likes of which I haven't experienced since high school. I finally gave up for good and hid in bed around 7:00 last night, and it was only through a supreme act of will that I didn't beg Haley on bended knee to please, for the love of god, stop vacuuming before my head explodes.

Before the attack of the killer headache, however, I managed to join Haley in a pretty impressive productivity binge; thanks to [livejournal.com profile] mary_wroth and [livejournal.com profile] marchharetay, whose combined efficiency is nothing short of mind-boggling, we accomplished so much that I'm seriously thinking about going in to work tomorrow and saving myself the vacation day.

Not really sure what else to add here--I am wicked excited for this move to be over with, and even more excited to have my very own shoebox to decorate however I want. I'll be spending a whole lot of time from Wednesday onward unpacking and hauling things from Target, and anyone who can spare a few hours to assist in either or both of these activities will receive both my undying gratitude and whatever version of pizza and beer your current diet supports.

Also, does anyone have a drill I could borrow for a week or two? I'll be purchasing a number of things that will need to be assembled, but I'd rather not invest in a drill of my very own if I can avoid it. Please and thanks!
grammargirl: (Default)
For reasons surpassing understanding, awesome things seem to happen whenever [livejournal.com profile] vert and I are in the same place at the same time. Last night, for example, was the Pipettes show. I'd been looking forward to this for weeks, but of course had somehow managed to forget about it completely until [livejournal.com profile] vert IMed me to make plans for meeting up. So okay, fine, not how I'd planned on spending my Tuesday night and I was dressed a wee bit business casual for a sold-out poptacular dance party, but whatevs. We met up after work and proceeded to a diner I'd passed on the walk from midtown to Union Square (pre- or post-show diner food rapidly becoming a [livejournal.com profile] vert-and-Melanie tradition). One glance at the menu told us that magic was in the freakin' air. With food names like "Hunka-Hunka Burnin' Pancakes," "Hummus of the Gods," and "Rappers Delight 2 the Hip Hop, It Don't Stop" (yes, really), how could we go wrong? The ancient Trivial Pursuit cards on the table and adorable oh-so-Southern waitress, not to mention the delicious heart-attack-on-a-plate food itself, only added to the awesome. Carb comas accomplished, we wandered toward the meatpacking district for a night of pop music heaven.

Okay, so first of all, immediately upon our arrival something happened that never happens to me: even though doors were at 7 and we didn't get there until 8:15, the place was deserted enough that we snagged a prime spot right up against the stage. I'm tall enough that normally I'd feel guilty about standing right up front even if the opportunity presented itself, but fuck it. Later on, the people standing immediately behind us proved to be drunken jackasses, so I really didn't feel bad about blocking their view. So anyway, we plopped on the floor and [livejournal.com profile] vert entertained me with some truly impressive card tricks while we waited for the first of two opening bands to come on.

And here's where the magic (card tricks notwithstanding) really started to happen: both opening bands were good. Not just good, but fantastic. Marit Bergman's a Swedish/Norwegian folksinger who looks like Maggie Gyllenhaal and sings like an angel. One of her backup singers, incidentally, looks eerily like one of the bigshot editors here at work. Anyway, she sings these really pretty, catchy, acoustic songs that sound sort of sweet and wistful until you realize they're about things like a Swedish girl getting raped by three hockey players and gay sex on Chelsea Pier. She was also really nervous in that charming, rambling stories kind of way, which with her accent was just about the most adorable thing ever.

...the most adorable thing ever, that is, until the next opening band, Smoosh. These guys were like, I don't even know, the pre-teen Sleater-Kinney? I guess technically they're actually teenagers--the keyboardist/lead vocalist is fifteen, and her sister, the drummer (she also does some vocals, which according to [livejournal.com profile] vert is really hard), is thirteen--but they released their first album at age twelve and ten, respectively. Now, the keyboardist was awesome enough, playing songs she writes herself, tapping her foot to the beat so enthusiastically that she actually lost a shoe toward the end of the set, with a little smirk on her face that told me without a doubt that she is a nightmare in school. The drummer, however, was flat-out amazing, not just for a thirteen-year-old but for anyone. Her face was mostly hidden behind one of her cymbals as she headbanged and sang and beat the shit out of her drum kit, and she was flailing around so violently that I thought she must be one of those angry drummers, taking out her excess aggression with her sticks... and then, for just a second toward the end of the set, I caught a glimpse of the most blissed-out, thrilled-to-be-alive grin on her face, and I realized that she was having the time of her life up there. She totally wiped the mat with Rachel Trachtenburg's bored tapping, I tell you what, and we're not even bringing Meg White into the conversation. Oh yeah, and let's not forget the youngest sister, who came on stage to play bass for a few songs. She's ten and her hands are so small she could barely reach the bottom string. I don't think I've ever seen an audience respond that enthusiastically to an opening band.

After that, the Pipettes themselves were almost an anticlimax, which was impressive because they were even more sassy and British and polka-dotted than I expected them to be. Everyone danced as much as we could, given the space constraints (I know New York audiences have a reputation for being jaded and undemonstrative, but it occurred to me last night that part of the reason for that is that sold-out shows here pack everyone together so tightly that it's often impossible to do anything more movement-intensive than nodding along to the beat). They did all my favorite songs and a bunch of new stuff I'd never heard before--Pull Shapes, the pre-encore finale, was just as great live as I'd hoped--and looked like they were having a blast doing it. If their performance had been all I'd seen last night I would've considered the outing a rousing success, but they simply could not compete with a thirteen-year-old girl in mismatched socks putting [insert famous drummer here] to shame.

Afterward, I limped to the subway (the only downside to the night being a mysterious ankle injury acquired somewhere between midtown and Union Square, which will teach me to wear flip-flops for walks of more than, say, 20 blocks), free poster in hand, convinced that [livejournal.com profile] vert and I need to hang out as much as possible from now on.
grammargirl: (Clerical Deviance)
Today I was handed a big box full of personalized notepads, complete with my name, job title, and contact information, as well as the company logo. I am unreasonably pleased about this. It's like I really exist now, not just on the outskirts as a temp, but as a real person with my own notepads and a functioning nameplate and a cubicle I can decorate however I want. The fact that I got so many notepads--more than I can expect to go through for a long, long time--means, somehow, that I'm expected to stick around long enough to use them up. It's a good feeling.
grammargirl: (Default)
It occurs to me that I have been doing a shoddy job of keeping you, my adoring el jay public, up to date on the variously hilarious, ridiculous, surreal, wonderful, weird, and otherwise noteworthy events of my riveting life.

Some highlights of the past few weeks, in no particular order:

*Joined [livejournal.com profile] sternel at a Vienna Teng show in which we were invited to sit with a couple gumpy guys who just happened to have scored a table with an awesome view, and ate woefully overpriced chocolate cake. Watched her drummer play the drum set with one hand, a glockenspiel with the other, and kick this weird cube-shaped bass drumesque thing he was sitting on with one foot, all without missing a beat. Between sets, got Vienna's autograph. Also, she and her violinist both complimented me on my alligator purse (that is, a purse with an alligator on it, not a purse made of alligator).
*Met a girl who keeps pictures of Janel Maloney in her wallet where most people would keep photo ID and pictures of their family.
*On a whim, went to a John Vanderslice show with a perfect stranger who happened to have an extra ticket, only to find out that his ex-girlfriend was in my wretched computer class last semester. Had an excellent, silly, hip-bumping time. Made a shiny new show-buddy (hi, [livejournal.com profile] vert!).
*Encountered a black bouncer who, when checking my ID, was utterly dumbfounded by the fact that I, in all my skinny white girl glory, have the balls to live in Bed-Stuy.
*Went to a midnight sing-along of the Buffy musical episode, performed a la Rocky Horror, which was way more fun than it had any right to be. Came home at 4AM for maybe the first time since I moved here.
*Purged the hell out of my wardrobe in preparation for a Sooper Secret Life Development which I will be posting more about once plans are finalized.
*Got to try Stephen Colbert's Ben & Jerry's flavor (Americone Dream) for free at work, because my company is publishing his book.
*Got the hottest haircut EVAR.
*Donated a huge pile of picture books to my old school, to be divided equally between the only two teachers there who regularly treated me like a human being. Found the act to be surprisingly satisfying.
*Acquired an internet admirer through incredibly circuitous means involving the Gawker linked blogs and a comment I left in [livejournal.com profile] theuglyvolvo's journal. Said admirer is a big schmancy midtown lawyer with an impeccable educational pedigree and does not appear, much to my surprise, to be creepy in any way. We may be getting drinks this week sometime.

All in all, things are going more swimmingly than I would have thought possible as recently as a few months ago. It's skirt weather, my job still rules, I'm meeting new people and leaving my cave from time to time, and big plans are in the works. Life, at least for now, is a very fine thing indeed.
grammargirl: (Default)
I've been wondering recently why it is that, even with a job I adore, I remain largely incapable of such seemingly simple adult tasks such as doing my laundry regularly and cleaning the bathroom every week. Then Spring Break started and everything started to make sense. In the last two nights, without the looming specter of class, I have accomplished the following:

*Cleaned the bathroom
*Did a sink full of dishes
*Did many, many weeks' worth of laundry (though in all fairness "doing laundry" in my case involves sorting the laundry, dragging it to the laundromat, and picking it up again all clean and folded a couple days later)
*Dropped off a bunch of dry cleaning
*Washed two sweaters and some hosiery by hand
*Vacuumed hall, living room, and my bedroom
*Did a full change of the cat's litter
*Straightened living room
*Made my bed
*Cleared horizontal surfaces in my room
*Moved tights, knee-highs, boot socks, and other bulky items from dresser drawer to plastic storage container on top of dresser, thereby alleviating the dire space shortage in said drawer, a task I've been meaning to accomplish for weeks that ultimately required nothing but a trip to the hardware store and approximately five minutes of my time

It's amazing what I can accomplish when all I have to worry about is my full-time job, as opposed to my full-time job + two classes + transportation time to and from Queens + studying time + time spent staring off into space and feeling guilty for not studying. I am so freaking excited about summer, I cannot even tell you.
grammargirl: (Default)
It is more than a little alarming to watch Cruel Intentions for the first time in years and think to myself, "Huh. I've dated that guy."
grammargirl: (Default)
Goddamn it, why does every awesome event EVER have to happen when I have class? I'm already missing my wretched Cataloging class tonight so I can go see the Decemberists, I probably can't get away with it twice. But still: Neil Gaiman! Salman Rushdie! Steve Martin! Other fantastically cool people! In the same room at the same time, for $15! And I have to miss it so that I can listen to my ditzy, uninformed professor drone on about MARC headings and AACR2 rules. There is no justice in this world, truly.

But still. Decemberists show tonight! 7th row! No awful Cataloging class! HELLS YES.
grammargirl: (Default)
Apparently my new favorite genre of music is sassy British girlpop. If anyone has any recommendations other than The Pipettes and Lily Allen, both of whom I'm now listening to incessantly, I'm all ears.

Now I get to spend the day in the Humanities Research Library (i.e. the big famous library with the lions on 42nd St.) working on an assignment for my Reference class, which I reluctantly find myself actually sort of liking. Perhaps I shall reward myself with an absurdly gigantic Crumbs cupcake afterward.

It is, once again, BEAUTIFUL outside. I'm not letting myself come home until I've wandered around aimlessly in the sunshine for a satisfactory amount of time, which means that I should get going.
grammargirl: (Default)
Dear February,

Way to not suck this year. 3/4 of the way over, and I haven't once had the urge to listen to Dar Williams' "February" on repeat. Good job.

Sincere thanks,

Melanie


We're smack in the middle of what my favorite ex-roommate charmingly refers to as the "February Fake Out"--that week in the depths of winter that teases us with beautiful spring weather before yanking it away and plunging back into subarctic temperatures for another month or so. Actually, given this winter's lack of depth thus far, I wouldn't be all that surprised if it turned out to be the real deal, but in any case it was almost 50 degrees and sunny this morning, and I meandered toward the subway through the melting slush listening to "Year of the Rat," and I really couldn't have been happier unless I'd been wearing my Victorian Hooker Boots to my first day at my new job. Things being as they are, I'll just have to hold on another 12 days and enjoy the glorious weather in the meantime.

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